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Played
February 23, 2013 4:00 PM EST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Carlos Velasco‎
Attendance:‬ 57629‎
 
52′ David Villa
Botía 42′
60′ Lionel Messi
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla

Goal.com evaluates the performances of everyone on show at Camp Nou, as David Villa and Lionel Messi earn a victory that propels the Catalans 15 points clear in la Liga

By Mark Doyle

  • Víctor Valdés
    7
    0
    3.50

    Víctor Valdés

    Had absolutely nothing to do other than pick the ball out of the net before being beaten by Botia's awkward bouncing header just before half-time. Sevilla carried a far great attacking threat in the final quarter, though, and Valdes came up with a fine stop to deny Manu.

  • Daniel Alves
    9
    1
    3.00

    Daniel Alves

    As ever, operated more as a winger than a full-back and had a goal-bound drive deflected wide midway through the first half. Did not carry his usual attacking threat in the opening 45 minutes but was much improved after the break and played a key role in turning the game around with a pinpoint cross that was easily converted by Villa.

  • Piqué
    5
    2
    3.00

    Piqué

    Anticipated things well and was always looking to step forward into midfield. However, was nowhere to be seen when Botia rose to head Sevilla into the lead, thus underlining the worrying lack of concentration Barca are currently exhibiting in defence.

  • Montoya
    3
    1
    2.50

    Montoya

    Handed a rare start at left-back and was given a rough ride by Navas, though he was hardly alone in that regard. The youngster also offered very little going forward.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    4
    1
    3.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Twice linked well with Messi during the first half but was surprisingly quiet overall, failing to influence the game the way he normally does. Unsurprisingly given a rest after Barca had gone 2-1 up.

  • Thiago Alcántara
    4
    1
    3.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Looked lively early on, having a penalty shout turned down, but his passing was sloppy he didn't really look like making anything happen. Decent display - but not good enough if he has serious aspirations of nailing down a regular starting berth.

  • Javier Mascherano
    3
    2
    3.00

    Javier Mascherano

    Recalled to the starting line-up in the absence of Carles Puyol and did reasonably well for the most part, though he did not look at all comfortable when left one-on-one with Navas.

  • Alex Song
    4
    4
    2.50

    Alex Song

    Tried valiantly to put himself about and did the simple things well enough but he still looks out of place in this Barca team, given he does not really bring anything to the party - other than an imposing physical presence.

  • David Villa
    17
    0
    4.00

    David Villa Top of the Match

    Needed a strong showing to strengthen his claims for a starting berth against Madrid and did just that. Showed plenty of desire to get on the ball and got his just deserts in the form of the most inviting of crosses from Dani Alves, which he confidently buried.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    2
    8
    2.00

    Alexis Sánchez Flop of the Match

    Still looks nothing like the player who illuminated Serie A a couple of seasons ago. Indeed, the confidence-drained Chilean appears no longer capable of beating his man, while his final ball is nearly always poor. In his defence, he continues to work hard to win it back but then, that is not what Barca paid all those millions for. Unsurprisingly subbed at the break.

  • Lionel Messi
    12
    3
    3.50

    Lionel Messi

    Was not at his brilliant best but looked far more like his usual self after his no-show in Milan, creating an opening for Iniesta inside five minutes. Also tested Beto with a low strike from a tight angle before putting Barca ahead by calmly finishing a move he himself had started.

Substitutions

  • Xavi
    3
    0
    3.00

    Xavi

    Sent on in place of Iniesta and brought a predictable air of class and composure to the proceedings.

  • Busquets
    3
    0

    Busquets

    Came on for Villa for the closing 20 minutes and did a far better job that anyone else in keeping up with Navas

  • Tello
    9
    0
    3.50

    Tello

    Took over on the left-hand side from the woefully ineffective Sanchez during the half-time break and immediately looked much more menacing. Indeed, came as no surprise when he teed up Messi for Barca's second. Could even have netted himself late on.

  • Beto
    1
    0
    3.00

    Beto

    Saved well with his feet from Messi 21 minutes in, but he was rather surprisingly given very little to do during the first half.

  • Federico Julián Fazio
    1
    0
    3.00

    Federico Julián Fazio

    Gave away a free kick in a very dangerous position after being caught flat-footed by Alexis on the edge of the area but, overall, he was a reliable presence at the heart of the Sevilla defence.

  • Fernando Navarro
    2
    0
    2.50

    Fernando Navarro

    Made numerous interceptions but started to be pulled out of position with greater regularity the longer the game wore on and was booked for cynically barging Messi off the ball on the edge of the area.

  • Coke
    1
    0
    3.00

    Coke

    Expected to struggle given the presence of Iniesta and Villa on the left-hand side, but stood up remarkably well to the most unenviable of challenges, remaining water-tight at the back before then creating the opener for Botia with a sublime cross to the back post. Put under far more pressure upon Tello's arrival, but did well all the same.

  • Botía
    3
    0
    3.50

    Botía

    Put unnecessary pressure on his side with a reckless lunge on Messi just before the half-hour mark but more than made amends by putting his side in front with a very well-executed downward header just before the interval. Didn't deserve to be on the losing side.

  • Jesús Navas González
    3
    0
    3.00

    Jesús Navas González

    With his terrific turn of pace and quick feet, the winger looked a threat whenever he got an opportunity to run directly at the Barca back four and also did an excellent job tracking back to help out Botia.

  • Gary Medel
    1
    0
    3.00

    Gary Medel

    Played a pivotal role in denying Barca's principal playmakers time on the ball, Medel worked tirelessly before running out of steam during the second half.

  • Ivan Rakitic
    2
    0
    3.00

    Ivan Rakitic

    His touch let him down on occasion but he kept Song on his toes both with and without the ball and played his part in Botia's goal by picking out Coke with a crossfield pass. Definitely should have scored after being picked out by Navas, but then, his terrific through-ball for Negredo also should have been converted.

  • Hedwiges Maduro
    1
    0
    2.00

    Hedwiges Maduro

    Initially did a decent job of protecting his back four from Iniesta and Co. but he was repeatedly caught out during the second half, while his passing deteriorated badly.

  • Manu Del Moral
    1
    0
    3.00

    Manu Del Moral

    Was lucky that his team-mates got him out of trouble early on after getting caught in possession by Alexis but, for the most part, it was he who was a thorn in Barca's side, with his constant hassling and harrying, as well as his willingness to get forward whenever the opportunity presented itself.

  • Baba Diawara
    1
    0
    2.50

    Baba Diawara

    Worked his socks off in order to prevent Pique and Mascherano stepping into midfield too often but never looked remotely like scoring. Made way for Negredo not long after half-time.

Substitutions

  • Alberto
    0
    0

    Alberto

    Only saw eight minutes of action after replacing Maduro.

  • Geoffrey Kondogbia
    0
    0
    2.50

    Geoffrey Kondogbia

    Introduced in place of Medel midway through the second half but did not make much of an impact.

  • Negredo
    0
    1
    3.00

    Negredo

    Took over up top from Baba and caused Barca problems with his movement. However, he squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to level matters late on.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0